Traditional animation, far from dying a death with the advance of its high-tech counterpart, is experiencing something of a renaissance. In 1995, when Pixar launched the first ever feature film made entirely with computer-generated imagery (CGI), sceptics were quick to sound the death knell for its predecessor. But in recent years, often with the support of CGI animators, hand-drawn works by the likes of Japanese manga artist Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away; Howl’s Moving Castle) and French director Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville; The Illusionist) have gained critical acclaim and, even more notably, been given nods at the Oscars.
The gradual evolution of this art form will be celebrated in Phnom Penh at l’Institut Français du Cambodge on February 2 and 3. A mixture of international and local films is due to be screened to highlight how the medium has changed over the decades. En Mouvement, a collection of stills, examines the painstaking processes involved in creating animated films for the big screen. In the words of Institut Director Olivier Planchon: “For one minute of animation, you need days of teamwork.”
The exhibition will also highlight the work of Battambang based animation studio, 1000 Hands. Founded in 2007 by non-govern- mental organisation Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) with the support of several French studios, it provides visual arts students with professional training in producing animated films. Much of the studio’s work so far has focused on key social issues, such as raising road safety awareness and promoting the drinking of clean water. Nine of its films will be screened during the event.
On February 3, the action movesto Koh Pich, also known as Diamond Island. There, a range of short films are due to be screened, including a selection of highlights from the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, one of the world’s major celebrations of cartoon films. More than 150,000 people attended last year’s event, which attracted more than 400 exhibitors from 70 countries. Friday’s open-air show will take place at the north end of the is- land, with more than 15 shorts screened in two hours. Work from 03D Asia, a Phnom Penh school specialising in 3D computer graphics, will also be shown. Everyone is welcome and admission is free.
En Mouvement will be shown at 6 :30pm on February 2 at the Institut Français on Street 178.
Animation will begin at 7pm on February 3 at Koh Pich.
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